It’s the Sexy Setting Goals Song: NaBloWriMo November 2017

Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and Coffee--what else does a gal need?
Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and coffee–what else does a gal need?

First, let me start by saying that I know that National Blog Writing Month (NaBloWriMo) was last month, but in late September I experienced a close family loss which understandably threw all my lofty plans into the proverbial crapper. Two days before this loss, I had recommitted to my stitching and knitting, to my two design “companies” (Wordsmith Designs cross stitch and Moon & Sixpence Knits), to this blog, and to my moribund writing career.

So, rather than scuttle the whole idea, I’ve decided to move my writing and crafting goals forward to this month.

My writing goals are simple: a blog post every day, 1000 words a day on another project I won’t go into detail about here, and a letter a day (and yes, I know that National Letter Writing Month is April).

My knitting goals are likewise simple: to complete the test-knitting (already underway) and pattern-writing (nearly complete) for my fingerless glove and baby cardigan patterns; and to complete the Thora sweater for my Aunt Janet who has been patiently waiting for it for more years than I care to admit. Anything else is gravy.

The Craftsman title pageAnd my stitching goals are even simpler: to complete the pattern and test-stitching for a chessboard design I’ve been working on intermittently for more years than I care to admit; and to complete the finishing for some Dawn Lewis Christmas ornaments I stitched more years ago than I care to admit. It’s time to stitch or cut floss. Anything else is, as they say, gravy.

These goals are simple but time-consuming and I’ve probably bit off more than I can chew, but a stitcher’s reach should exceed her grasp or what’s a heaven for, right?

And as a “thank you” for anyone who has made it to the end of this list: it’s the “Sexy Getting Ready Song” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the best female-driven musical comedy series about an emotionally troubled lawyer in West Covina airing on television today (warning: NSFW).

 

 

 

2014 Smalls Challenge — a belated entry for December

Though she be but little, she is fierce...
Bent Creek “Holly & White”

So, my entry for the December 2014 Smalls SAL Challenge is finally done, and, as usual, it’s late (in case you hadn’t noticed). This month I chose a true small — only 32 stitches square — with only two colors — I chose DMC 500 and ecru — and a simple, graphic design that let me spend a lot of time stitching without having to consult the pattern every two minutes. Since I only had the chart, the red button is one I had just lying around in my button tin. It’s probably a little bigger than the design actually calls for, but I’m trying not to let perfect be the enemy of good, as “they” say, and this button is just darling.

This pattern, Bent Creek’s “Holly & White” (from their “One Color” collection), fell into my lap at a very convenient time. I had just completed, at the very last minute, the four Shepherd’s Bush stockings that I stitched for my brother, sister-in-law and my two nieces for Christmas (more about those tomorrow), and I only had a few days left until the end-of-the-month deadline. This design is perfect for a quick and easy Christmas gift. And yet somehow I was still late getting it finished. Sigh.

Looking back at all of 2014, I’m somewhat pleased with my efforts in the Smalls SAL Challenge. I say “somewhat” because, let’s face it, if I were grading on percentages, I’ve only earned 7.5 out of 12, or a lousy 62.5% (it’s 8.5 if you count the “extra credit” small from May — still, that’s only 71%), and I still haven’t finished July’s project, Eileen Bennett’s “Very Victorian… Acorns” (last seen here).

On the other hand, 71% is better than zero, which is where I was headed without the added incentive of participating in the Smalls SAL Challenge. I have not been doing as much cross stitch in the past couple years as I used to do and this group has been a great motivator. I’ve already signed up for the 2015 Challenge. I’ll go over the rest of my stitching goals for 2015 in a later post.

Here’s to a happy 2015 full of stitching goals met (and even surpassed perhaps?)! I can dream, can’t I? Happy New Year!

September 2014 Smalls Challenge SAL

“A Merry Little Christmas” by Bent Creek, my contribution to the September 2014 Smalls Challenge (pardon the hoop-marks)

Well, it’s that time of the month again! No, not that time of the month — it’s time for the 2014 Smalls Challenge update (you can see the logo in the sidebar to the right). This month I took it easy on myself and chose a pattern — Bent Creek’s “A Merry Little Christmas” — that is a true “small.” Realistic goals are one of the keys to happiness, and I don’t want a repeat of the July “Very Victorian… Acorns” debacle. Shudder.

I’ve had this pattern for almost twenty years now, so I figured it was about time to actually make it!

I’ve made some substitutions from classic DMC (this pattern is from before overdyed flosses were so widely available) to some variegated flosses. For the lettering and the centers of the border boxes, I used Weeks Dye Works “Juniper”; for the pine bough I used Weeks Dye Works “Chestnut” and for the pine needles I used Weeks Dye Works “Seaweed.” For the ornament itself, I used (the sadly discontinued) Needle Necessities overdyed floss in color 153, “Razzle Dazzle Red,” and for the yellow ribbon tied around the tree branch, color 161, “Fool’s Gold.” These small projects like this give me a good excuse to use up these discontinued colors. For the outlines around the boxes in the border, I substituted good ol’ fashioned DMC 611.

I’m very excited to have completed at least one new Christmas ornament this year. It’s been quite a while since I’ve added a new cross stitch ornament to my tree.  I have just ordered the new 2014 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue and the special Halloween issue. I can’t wait to see all the new designs and write a review for you all.

GIVEAWAY: as usual, I am giving away my gently used pattern to the first person who sends me a comment or email requesting it. If you are interested, please leave an email or blog address so I can contact you. Good luck, and thanks for reading the blog!

September Update — Finishes, Starts, and WIPs

Where does all the time go? I can’t believe it’s September already, which means I’m two months behind in my half-year update, although I suppose that’s really right on schedule since I didn’t even post my year’s goals until the beginning of April. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I’m great about meeting goals in other parts of my life. I’m really very organized. Seriously. Anyway…

Update on Knitting WIPs and Goals for 2014

So, let’s see what I’ve gotten done since April’s reckoning. The progress bars in the right-hand sidebar will let you know how far along I am with my current projects. Here’s the list of knitting projects, some finished, some still in progress:

  • Baby Bobbi Bear and assorted outfits (a belated gift for my niece’s second birthday)   update: Baby Bobbi Bear was completed on 4/5/14 and the sweaters were completed on 6/29/14. Pictures and more details are below this bulleted list.
  • Winter Lace Afghan (a belated wedding gift — are you sensing a theme here?)  update: completed 5/16/14!
  • Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf (seriously, all this needs is some kitchenering. Is that a verb?)
  • Felted Sashiko Cover (this is a little something I’m working on as a freebie pattern to accompany the sashiko-style cross stitch I’m designing for Wordsmith Designs — see below)
  • Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts (you know, because it’s so cold here in Los Angeles in springtime) update: completed 5/22/14!
  • Swedish Thora (a belated gift for my beautiful and patient Aunt Janet — there’s a point where gifts become so belated, there’s no point in rushing anymore. Sigh.)

And here’s Baby Bobbi Bear in all his glory:

And here are his fabulous sweaters:

There’s more info about all the yarns I used and the various crochet patterns on my Ravelry site (it would take too long to list them all here). The scarf is a simple 10-stitch 2 X 2 rib knitted with self-striping Adriafil Knitcol (color 46) on size 5 needles. Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

Last April, I also stated “plans to make some Easter knits for the girls, including the Fiesta Tea Set by Annie Modesitt (knitted with Tahki Cotton Classic in yummy Fiestaware colors like lemongrass, peacock, plum, scarlet, shamrock, sunflower and tangerine).” Update: Done and done! Finished sometime in late June or early July. Here are some photos:

And here’s a picture of my niece Ella playing with her new tea set:

Ella Playing with Fiesta Tea Set
Ella Playing with Fiesta Tea Set

These were not part of my goals, but I also started a pair of the “The Wallpaper Had It Coming (Again)” mittens as part of a Sherlock-related challenge with the West Hollywood (WeHo) Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group, and the Spring Kerchief by Sachiko Uemura. I’m about halfway through the first glove, but I’ve only just cast on for the kerchief.

Needlework WIPs and Goals for 2014

As of April my current cross stitch WIPs were as follows (oldest to newest):

  • “Ewe and Eye Needlecase” by Maureen Appleton/Heart’s Content
  • “Celtic Band Samplar” by Homespun Samplar
  • “Union Jack,” an original design of the Union Jack flag which I will be “releasing” as a Wordsmith Designs freebie soon update: completed 04/06/14!

Since I’m being brutally honest, I will admit that I haven’t completed a single stitch on the Needlecase or the “Celtic Band Samplar.” They’ve been on hiatus for a few years now.

I had four other cross stitch goals for 2014:

  1. A set of four Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Stockings for my brother, sister-in-law and The Two Most Adorable Nieces in the World.™ Update: I’m happy to say I’m making terrific progress with these, and will have photos soon.
  2. The Mirabilia “In a Garden” series. Update: I’ve barely started the “Summer” version. Seriously, only a few stitches completed, and it’s “due” September 21st. My stitching time lately has gone to the Christmas stockings; I’d like to have those completed by the beginning of October so they can be finished professionally before Christmas.
  3. The 2014 Smalls Stitch-Along (the handy-dandy icon is in the right-hand sidebar). Update: I completed my smalls for April, May, June, and August, and I’m still working on July. Here’s the gallery so far:

Goals for Wordsmith Designs

For Wordsmith Designs, my first three design priorities for release are (in this order):

  1.  A sashiko-based design that I don’t want to go into too much detail about right now
  2.  A Celtic alphabet design that’s already designed and stitched but still needs some “polishing”
  3.  A design called “Memento Mori” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now
  4.  A design called “A Rose is a Rose” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now

Update: I haven’t met any of my designing goals for Wordsmith Designs. I’ve done some work on the sashiko design, but it still needs a lot more work. 

Goals for Moon & Sixpence Knits

For Moon & Sixpence, I am working on three free patterns:

  • an update of my (very basic) Michael Nesmith hat pattern, one that is more historically accurate and includes the four-button variation Nesmith wore sometimes
  • a scarf and cowl with a breast cancer ribbon-style cable pattern (I’m debating whether to charge a nominal fee so the proceeds could go to breast cancer research)
  • a small cabled heart design based on a Christmas ornament that IKEA was selling a couple years ago

Update: Apparently, design-work is not my top priority, which is sad because it’s a way of generating at least some income. As I stated in April: “I would love to have the breast cancer ribbon-style scarf completed by October, which the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” That seems like a goal that could still be met. Stay tuned.

Check back on December 31st! And wish me good luck and good motivation!

 

 

Well, it’s the beginning of April so it’s time to set some New Year’s goals for 2014!

[WARNING: This is quite a long post, and it’s generally all about my personal knitting/stitching goals. Alas, no Benedict Cumberbatch, nerdy knits, or penguin sweaters today.]

Boy, time sure flies when you become temporarily obsessed with the knitting on a certain TV show and then you catch the plague! I’ve been meaning for the past two-and-a-half months to write a post where I set out my knitting, stitching and crafting goals for the year, but it seems like something always got in the way. Sadly, goal-setting has never been one of my strengths, but I’m setting some goals to try to work on that in the future….

Knitting WIPs and Goals for 2014

Let’s start with what I have on the needles or in the hoop right now. The progress bars in the right-hand sidebar will let you know how far along I am with my current projects. Here’s the list of current knitting projects (in the sidebar, they are listed in order of the oldest to the newest project, but here I’m listing them in order of priority):

  • Baby Bobbi Bear and assorted outfits (a belated gift for my niece’s second birthday) update: Baby Bobbi Bear was completed on 4/5/14 and the sweaters were completed on 6/29/14
  • Winter Lace Afghan (a belated wedding gift — are you sensing a theme here?)  update: completed 5/16/14!
  • Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf (seriously, all this needs is some kitchenering. Is that a verb?)
  • Felted Sashiko Cover (this is a little something I’m working on as a freebie pattern to accompany the sashiko-style cross stitch I’m designing for Wordsmith Designs — see below)
  • Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts (you know, because it’s so cold here in Los Angeles in springtime) update: completed 5/22/14!
  • Swedish Thora (a belated gift for my beautiful and patient Aunt Janet — there’s a point where gifts become so belated, there’s no point in rushing anymore. Sigh.)

For my personal knitting goals, I will probably continue to emphasize making gifts, especially for my nieces. They are the only nieces (or nephews, for that matter) that I will ever have and they are only going to be small once. Soon, they will want to assert their own tastes (I can already see it happening) and they won’t be willing to wear whatever I make for them. As the old saying goes, you’ve got to get in while the gettin’s good. I have plans to make some Easter knits for the girls, including the Fiesta Tea Set by Annie Modesitt (all the Tahki Cotton Classic has been purchased, in yummy Fiestaware colors like lemongrass, peacock, plum, scarlet, shamrock, sunflower and tangerine). update: finished the Fiesta Tea Set in late June/early July 2014!

Needlework WIPs and Goals for 2014

My cross stitch WIPs are as follows (oldest to newest):

  • “Ewe and Eye Needlecase” by Maureen Appleton/Heart’s Content
  • “Celtic Band Samplar” by Homespun Samplar
  • “Union Jack,” an original design of the Union Jack flag which I will be “releasing” as a Wordsmith Designs freebie soon update: completed 04/06/14!

My cross stitch plans for the year have three parts. First, I plan on stitching a set of four Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Stockings for my brother, sister-in-law and The Two Most Adorable Nieces in the World.™ My favorites are Peter, Christian, Harry and Robert. My sister-in-law has approved of the choices, and she especially likes Peter and Harry. Fortunately, I already had the patterns for all of them except Harry, and I also have the charms for Peter. During Silver Needle’s recent Super Bowl mega-sale, I ordered the chart and charms for Harry, and they just arrived a couple weeks ago along with some other goodies. Maybe if I start now I can get them done by Christmas (I didn’t say Christmas of this year).

Second, over the next year (a year from today, not by New Year’s 2015), I’d like to complete the Mirabilia “In a Garden” series. You can read about the first time I blogged about this here. I want to stitch each piece during the season it depicts; I’ve decided to follow the dates of the solstices and equinoxes for my due dates, so each piece will be due on the last day before the next solstice/equinox. The dates for 2014 are: March 20 (spring equinox), June 21 (summer solstice), September 23 (fall equinox), and December 21 (winter solstice). I’m going to start stitching “Summer” on June 21. I can hardly wait — I’ve picked out the hand-dyed fabric and everything! More details to come.

Third, each month I will be participating in the 2014 Smalls Stitch-Along (the handy-dandy icon is in the right-hand sidebar). I’m already behind in my stitching for this challenge, but I plan on catching up this month. The “Union Jack” project is part of this “catching up” — all told, it measures 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches. That certainly qualifies as small!

In my copious free time (the discerning reader will note a hint of sarcasm here), if I have any stitching time leftover, I would like to finish the other two projects I have going already. I’d also like to make Bent Creek’s Holly Quaker Stocking pattern for me and Drawn Thread’s “Give Thanks.” I’ve been concentrating so much on knitting lately that my needleworking has fallen to the wayside. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the habit. The little bit of work I’ve done on the “Union Jack” small is reminding me how much I enjoy the feel of a needle and thread in my hands.

Goals for Wordsmith Designs

For Wordsmith Designs, my first three design priorities for release are (in this order):

  1.  A sashiko-based design that I don’t want to go into too much detail about right now
  2.  A Celtic alphabet design that’s already designed and stitched but still needs some “polishing”
  3.  A design called “Memento Mori” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now
  4.  A design called “A Rose is a Rose” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now

I want to have the first ready to go to the model stitcher and the second ready to release by the end of next month (April 30). Getting the sashiko-based design finished also means designing and knitting the sashiko cover (mentioned above in my knitting goals). The deadline for “Memento Mori” will be two months after that (June 30), and for “A Rose is a Rose,” it will be two months after that (August 31). If I get my behind into gear, these should be very reasonable goals. I’d better not dawdle. “Mackintosh Rose” is getting lonely.

Goals for Moon & Sixpence Knits

For Moon & Sixpence, I am working on three free patterns:

  • an update of my (very basic) Michael Nesmith hat pattern, one that is more historically accurate and includes the four-button variation Nesmith wore sometimes
  • a scarf and cowl with a breast cancer ribbon-style cable pattern (I’m debating whether to charge a nominal fee so the proceeds could go to breast cancer research)
  • a small cabled heart design based on a Christmas ornament that IKEA was selling a couple years ago

Of course, the problem with free patterns (besides the obvious lack of remuneration) is that there is no real compelling reason to complete them promptly so they tend to end up in the land of “someday I’ll get around to that.” I would love to have the breast cancer ribbon-style scarf completed by October, which the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I am also working on some patterns that will be for sale: a tweedy baby jacket, some Aran-style hats, and a double-knit illusion scarf. The first two will give me a chance to dip my toes into the complicated world of sizing knits; I have some experience with this when working for and with others, but this will be the first time I go out on my own and I feel like I need to take baby steps first. Literally. Maybe I’ll find that I’m underestimating my design capabilities. That would be a very pleasant surprise.

 

Phew! Well, this should certainly keep me busy in the year to come. Let’s see how many of these goals I actually meet. I need to attach some specific due dates to these projects — you know the old saying: the difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline. Check back on December 31st! And wish me good luck and good motivation!

The End of a Long March

Well, it’s the last day of March and here’s what I’ve accomplished stitching-wise:

1. “Everything Bag” from Suss Cousins, Hollywood Knits Style (k)
2. “Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf,” my design (k)
3. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, navy (k & c)
4. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, claret (k & c)
5. “Cardigan for Arwen” by Kate Gilbert in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 (k)
6. Aran Sweater for SIL, from Ann Budd’s amazing Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (k)
7. “Ewe & Eye Needlecase” by Heart’s Content (xs)
8. “Corinthian Ribbed Blanket,” my “design” (a simple ribbed blanket) (k)
9. “Drizzle” by Anna Tillman for Rowan 38 (k)
10. “Ballerina Top” from Zoe Mellor, Adorable Knits for Tots (k)
11. “Aran Wrap,” my design (k)
12. “Felted Sashiko Chessboard Cover,” my design (k)
13. Jord (that’s the name of the yarn) handbag, my design (k)
14. Chair cushion cover, from Suss Home Knits (k)
15. Blue Basketweave scarf from Vogue Scarves book (k)

Although it looks like a lot of projects have been crossed off, I was miffed to discover that my percentage is only 73%–a lousy “C.” And here I am feeling like I killed myself to get this much done!

I’ve decided to put the Ballerina Top on hold for now since the “baby” it was intended for is now a toddler and, frankly, I just can’t stand to look at it anymore. I’ve also decided to end the blue basketweave scarf where it is–it became slightly felted when I washed it, and I’ve decided that it’s good enough as is. I’m following the old motto “There are no mistakes, only design choices” (sometimes “design elements,” but you get the idea) and accept what I’ve got.

The Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf  and the Sashiko Chessboard Cover will be finished soon. Really. The Ewe and Eye Needlecase may take a bit longer–I spent quite a few hours on it this month and here’s a photo of my disappointing level of progress so far (to check on my previous progress, go here):

Ewe & Eye Needlecase WIP

And here is a picture of my brand new Everything Bag in all its glory:

Suss Everything BagWhile I more or less followed Suss Cousins’s pattern, I made up my own mixture of yarns. The original pattern called for Suss Charm, which is a mixture of three different yarns, including Trendsetter Flora. I used one strand of chocolate Suss Bomull (2 skeins total), one of sand Suss Twisted (3 skeins total), one of ivory Suss Perle Cotton (2 balls), one of mushroom Suss Perle Cotton (2 balls), one of Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool in a kind of brick red (2 skeins), and one of “olive medley” Trendsetter Charm (4 balls total). Phew! Can you spot all the different yarns?

Suss Everything Bag, Button DetailIt’s like a yarn version of Where’s Waldo?! The lining is a groovy mod design from IKEA in ivory, brick red and beige–very cheap and very sturdy. I made some interior pockets, but I’m not entirely happy with the final size–a little too narrow and too deep to be truly useful (something to keep in mind in the future). However, considering my extremely limited sewing skills and fear of the sewing machine, I’m pretty proud of myself. I think I’m in bag love!

Everything Bag Interior

March 2008 goals, four weeks later

And four weeks later:

1. “Everything Bag” from Suss Cousins, Hollywood Knits Style (k)
2. “Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf,” my design (k)
3. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, navy (k & c)
4. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, claret (k & c)
5. “Cardigan for Arwen” by Kate Gilbert in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 (k)
6. Aran Sweater for SIL, from Ann Budd’s amazing Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (k)
7. “Ewe & Eye Needlecase” by Heart’s Content (xs)
8. “Corinthian Ribbed Blanket,” my “design” (a simple ribbed blanket) (k)
9. “Drizzle” by Anna Tillman for Rowan 38 (k)
10. “Ballerina Top” from Zoe Mellor, Adorable Knits for Tots (k)
11. “Aran Wrap,” my design (k)
12. “Felted Sashiko Chessboard Cover,” my design (k)
13. Jord (that’s the name of the yarn) handbag, my design (k)
14. Chair cushion cover, from Suss Home Knits (k)
15. Blue Basketweave scarf from Vogue Scarves book (k)

Only one finish this week, although I have made considerable progress on the Everything Bag (#1) and I anticipate finishing it by the end of the month. The Ewe and Eye Needlecase, as Anna of Stitch Bitch so wisely predicted, is more than a one-month project, even with the bit of a head-start I had going into the month.

But let’s concentrate on the small victory for now–here, making it’s professional debut, give a Lyf So Short welcome to the Jord handbag:

Jord Handbag

March 2008 goals, three weeks later

Drizzle ScarfIn terms of actually being able to cross things off my list, I haven’t made as much progress this week as last, although I have made significant progress on several projects and I’ve managed to finish the Drizzle Scarf at least (pictured to the right). Mmmmm… so soft and purple….

Because I like longer scarves than most designers seem to think appropriate, I doubled the called-for length of each of the light purple and beige stripes on the ends of the scarf and lengthened the solid purple middle section too. The fuzzy effect is created by mixing Rowan Yorkshire Tweed (sadly discontinued now) with one strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze (fast becoming one of my favorite yarns) in the “dewberry” color. Here’s a detailed close-up of the striped section:

Drizzle Scarf Close-upThe pattern, in Rowan 38, calls for a bunch of shell buttons to be sewn on the ends of the scarf, but in the interest of getting all of this done for “stitch or cut floss” March, and, more importantly, because I really didn’t think they would add much, I decided not to go with the buttons. However, I do want to go on the record as saying that my administration has always had a firm pro-shell button agenda.

Here’s how I stand with the list so far:

1. “Everything Bag” from Suss Cousins, Hollywood Knits Style (k)
2. “Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf,” my design (k)
3. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, navy (k & c)
4. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, claret (k & c)
5. “Cardigan for Arwen” by Kate Gilbert in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 (k)
6. Aran Sweater for SIL, from Ann Budd’s amazing Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (k)
7. “Ewe & Eye Needlecase” by Heart’s Content (xs)
8. “Corinthian Ribbed Blanket,” my “design” (a simple ribbed blanket) (k)
9. “Drizzle” by Anna Tillman for Rowan 38 (k)
10. “Ballerina Top” from Zoe Mellor, Adorable Knits for Tots (k)
11. “Aran Wrap,” my design (k)
12. “Felted Sashiko Chessboard Cover,” my design (k)
13. Jord (that’s the name of the yarn) handbag, my design (k)
14. Chair cushion cover, from Suss Home Knits (k)
15. Blue Basketweave scarf from Vogue Scarves book (k)

As soon as my roommate’s midterms are over and she sets up the sewing machine for me, I should be able to finish nos. 1, 10, and 13. #1 needs a lining, #10 needs the pieces sewn together, and #13 needs both.

Here are some pictures of the current state of #6, Aran sweater for SIL (the book that the pattern is taken from, by the way, is the amazingly useful Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd, and the pattern is titled “Cable Panel Pullover”). The yarn here is also the late, lamented Rowan Yorkshire Tweed:

Karen's Sweater Pre-Assembly
Pre-Assembly

And here’s a close-up of the sleeve opening and funnel neck (inside-out, of course):

Karen's Sweater Pre-Assembly, Neck and Sleeve hole
Close-up with sleeves pinned, inside-out

And here’s a close-up of the sleeve seams (baskstitched):

Karen's Sweater Sleeve, seamed
Sweater Sleeve, seamed

And the wrist:

Karen's Sweater Sleeve, Close-up
Sweater Sleeve, Close-up

I’m planning on finishing this up in the next couple days, so that should be one more in the “finished” column. Yay! Stay tuned. Same stitch time, same stitch channel.

March 2008 goals, two weeks later

I’m making some progress! The projects that are crossed off are completely finished:

1. “Everything Bag” from Suss Cousins, Hollywood Knits Style (k)
2. “Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf,” my design (k)
3. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, navy (k & c)
4. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, claret (k & c)
5. “Cardigan for Arwen” by Kate Gilbert in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 (k)
6. Aran Sweater for SIL, from Ann Budd’s amazing Handy Book of Knitting Patterns (k)
7. “Ewe & Eye Needlecase” by Heart’s Content (xs)
8. “Corinthian Ribbed Blanket,” my “design” (a simple ribbed blanket) (k)
9. “Drizzle” by Anna Tillman for Rowan 38 (k)
10. “Ballerina Top” from Zoe Mellor, Adorable Knits for Tots (k)
11. “Aran Wrap,” my design (k)
12. “Felted Sashiko Chessboard Cover,” my design (k)

13. Jord (that’s the name of the yarn) handbag, my design (k)

14. Chair cushion cover, from Suss Home Knits (k)

15. Blue Basketweave scarf from Vogue Scarves book (k)

Technically, I decided to frog #11 because it just wasn’t working out, but that counts as finished since I won’t have to think about it anymore. Cardigan for Arwen is turning out to have some fitting issues, so I won’t be talking about that right now.

But here are some pictures of the granny square scarves. First, in navy:

Granny Square Scarf, Navy
Granny Square Scarf, Navy

And in claret (for both scarves, I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, one of the softest wool/acrylic blends you’ll ever work with):

Granny Square Scarf, Claret
Granny Square Scarf, Claret

If you’d like the pattern, email the Suss Design people–and tell them Kate sent you!

And here’s the World’s Most Beautiful Boy Cat (commonly known as “El Guapo”) making himself comfortable on the Corinthian Blanket:

Corinthian Blanket and Cat
Corinthian Blanket and Cat

This blanket is based on a blanket pattern I wrote for the Suss Cousins Wedding Knits book, the Soft Monogrammed Throw, except I used Rowan Chunky Print in the “Corinthian” colorway (hence, my name for the blanket). It’s a simple four-by-four rib stitch on size 13 needles (the recommended size for Chunky Print), but I think the effect is spectacular. And clearly, El Guapo does too. Warning: if you want to make this blanket yourself, it uses 17 balls, however, since Chunky Print is discontinued, you can pick up balls really cheap right now online.

Update 01/25/11: Suss Design is now out of the handknits business and Suss is concentrating all her efforts on her fashion lines, which are now even being featured on QVC. She continues to design knits for films and television as well. However, if you are interested in the pattern for this Granny Square Scarf, you can email me directly and I can arrange to get the pattern from them.

March 2008 Goals

I am officially declaring March 2008 to be my “stitch or cut floss” month (doesn’t that sound much nicer than “_____ or get off the pot” month?). But what does that mean, Kate?

I’m glad you asked, gentle reader. “Stitch or cut floss” means that I will, come hell or high water, finish all my UFOs by the end of the month. I will start April 2008 UFO-free!

In no particular order, these are the projects that I need to finish–“k” indicates a knitting project, “c” indicates crochet, and “xs” indicates cross stitch, of course. Here we go:

1. “Everything Bag” from Suss Cousins, Hollywood Knits Style (k)
2. “Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf,” my design (k)
3. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, navy (k & c)
4. “Granny Square Scarf” by Suss Cousins, claret (k & c)
5. “Cardigan for Arwen” by Kate Gilbert in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 (k)
6. Aran Sweater for SIL, from Ann Budd’s amazing Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (k)
7. “Ewe & Eye Needlecase” by Heart’s Content (xs)
8. “Corinthian Ribbed Blanket,” my “design” (a simple ribbed blanket) (k)
9. “Drizzle” by Anna Tillman for Rowan 38 (k)
10. “Ballerina Top” from Zoe Mellor, Adorable Knits for Tots (k)
11. “Aran Wrap,” my design (k)
12. “Felted Sashiko Chessboard Cover,” my design (k)

Since I finished all those old cross stitch projects, I’ve been trying not to start a new one until I finish the Heart’s Content Needlecase, so that explains the huge discrepancy in the ratio of knitted to stitched projects. I promise to “correct” that in the future. Tomorrow, I’ll fill you all in on how pathetically close I am to finishing all of these. Sigh.